Having only played three games this spring due to multiple weather postponements, Oak Park and River Forest High School softball coach J.P. Coughlin is still waiting to see what his young roster can do on a regular basis.
But after scoring just one run in their first two games, the Huskies broke out the bats in a big way on April 5 as they outslugged visiting Riverside-Brookfield High School 22-13.
“It was a tremendous hitting game for us, but we have an unreal amount of work still to do in all phases of the game,” said Coughlin. “We’re desperately hoping that we can start getting a consistent schedule going as games are going to show how well our inexperienced team responds to the daily challenges we face in practice.”
After falling behind 7-0 in the first inning and trailing 13-6 entering the bottom of the fifth, OPRF (1-2) erupted for 11 runs, then added five more in the sixth before the game was called due to darkness.
The Huskies belted out seven home runs, which is a school single-game record. Aria Hammerschmidt and Ella Kuenster each had two homers, and Cate Barkdoll, Rachel Buchta and Martha Lipic each added one. Hammerschmidt is the first-ever player in program history to hit a home run in her first two varsity at-bats.
Other top offensive performers for OPRF were Isabel Richmond (3-for-4, 3 RBI) and Tyler Brock (2-for-3, 2 walks).
In the circle, Jordan Alioto got the win in relief for the Huskies, striking out seven RBHS hitters in 4.1 innings. Hammerschmidt recorded the game’s only 1-2-3 inning on just eight pitches.
The OPRF baseball team split a pair of games last week. On April 6, the Huskies rallied for a walk-off 8-7 victory over Lake Park. The game ended in bizarre fashion with Cole Shamhart and Jack Gooch scoring the tying and winning runs respectively on a wild pitch and a throwing error on the same play.
Dylan Wipf was credited with the victory for OPRF (4-2). At the plate, Shamhart went 3-for-3 with a walk, two RBI and three runs scored, while Jack Chambers and Dan Michaud each added two hits for the Huskies.
The following day, Jack Flagg put OPRF ahead 2-0 in the first inning with a two-run triple versus visiting St. Charles East. But the Saints rallied for three runs in the fourth inning to take the lead then added three more in the fifth to hand the Huskies a 7-3 defeat. Calvin Proskey pitched four innings for OPRF, allowing four runs on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Also on April 6, Fenwick High School jumped out to a 7-2 lead versus visiting Providence Catholic. But the Friars couldn’t hold on as the Celtics rallied for an 8-7 victory.
Luis Gonzales, Drew Horne and Jimmy Martin each had two hits, and Gonzales, Horne and Jordan Vazquez each drove in two runs for Fenwick (3-1).
Girls water polo
The OPRF girls water polo team won its own invitational on April 9, notching a pair of victories.
In the first match versus Sandburg, Rory Cronin had nine goals to lead the Huskies (4-9) to a 15-7 win. OPRF also got contributions from Ashby Steward-Nolan (3 goals, 5 steals), Ellie Raidt (2 goals, 3 steals) and goalies Ella Homrock (9 saves) and Cali Weber (5 saves).
Later, the Huskies edged past Waubonsie Valley 10-9. Cronin had five goals and four steals to lead OPRF.
Danielle Hoffman’s two-run double in the bottom of the seventh gave Trinity a walk-off 6-5 victory over St. Laurence on April 5 at Triton College.
Hoffman also got the win for the Blazers (2-1) in the circle, going the distance. She gave up 11 hits but recorded nine strikeouts.
Eleanor Flores went 3-for-3 against St. Laurence with a home run, and Meagan Murphy also went yard for Trinity.